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REVIEW: Back to the Future the musical (West End)

Updated: Mar 26

Adelphi Theatre, London

8 March 2023


Back to the future the musical, London, west end.

Back to the Future is one of my favourite 1980's films. I was so excited by the stage musical, I had tickets to see the preview in Manchester for my birthday in April 2020.

The show opened in Manchester on 11th March 2020 but didn't get anywhere close to completing its planned 12 week run due to the Covid pandemic closing all theatres in the UK in the middle of March.

The show didn't reopen at all until it transferred to the West End in the autumn of 2021.

I'm so glad it survived all of that!

And after many years of waiting, I finally got to see the Delorean in real life this month.

Back to the Future the musical has the same plot as the 1985 film, give or take a few tweaks for elements that couldn't be done well on a stage. All the dialogue and humour I love from the film is here, plus some added singing and dancing, and expanded roles for fan favourites such as Goldie Wilson.

The theming of the Adelphi Theatre for this show is one of the best I've ever seen. There are store fronts, posters and easter eggs from Hill Valley all over the foyer and upstairs bar. The bar itself has become 'The Plutonium bar' and there are photo opportunities aplenty.

The auditorium is ablaze with electronics and the blue and white stage is striking.

The show itself is good, although I personally feel the new songs to be the weakest element. There are a mix of original songs plus some classics from the film such as 'The Power of Love', 'Johnny B. Goode' and 'Back in Time'.

My heart sank as the first 3 or 4 original songs were not great. But with the arrival of Doc Brown (Roger Bart) on stage everything moved up a gear and his 'It works' was more like it! And the wacky '21st century' is pure joy.

Roger Bart and cast in Back to the Future the musical, London, West End, Musical Theatre, March 2023. Credit: production photo.

Roger is magnificent and mischievous in the Doc role. I can see why he's been pinched to open this show on Broadway. A legend.

Jordan Benjamin was fantastic as Goldie Wilson. His performance of 'Gotta Start Somewhere' is a crowd pleasing hit.

Jordan Benjamin in Back to the Future the musical, London, West End, Musical Theatre, March 2023. Credit: production photo.

It was so lovely to see Amber Davies as Lorraine. She stole the show for me in '9 to 5' a few years ago and she's perfect as Marty's mum here.

That leads me on to the choreography...

The choreography in this show is complex and brilliant! Not just the ensemble or dance numbers, but the fight scenes too. There is a scene in Lorraine's bedroom where Marty is trying to escape his mum's attentions that is so cleverly choreographed and executed to perfection by Amber (Lorraine) and Ben (Marty). It happens so quickly, but it's really effective and must've taken a lot of practice! That kind of thing makes live theatre a winner for me over cinema every time.

Lastly the car. The car is the star! The Delorean is everything I'd hoped it would be and more.

This is no cardboard cut-out or plastic pretend car. It's metal, it's heavy and it owns the stage!

The special effects and technology in this show are astonishing. I cheered for the car and its antics all throughout the show. Yes, I cheered a piece of metal. But it was brilliant. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone, but anytime I said "I hope the car does such and such" it did!!

I really enjoyed this show, despite the shaky start. I'd absolutely go see it again. Some musicals it's all about the score. This is not one of those for me. But it has so much more going on; I still loved it.


[Review first posted on Instagram 20 March 2023; Reel posted 16 March 2023]

🌟 A review of Back to the Future the musical, London, West End, Musical Theatre, March 2023🌟

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Lisa in the Theatre, Theatre blog, reviews, UK Theatre

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